Recently, I’ve become involved with a project to encourage praying the rosary. As someone who just over the last few months began praying the rosary daily (well, almost!), this is near and dear to my heart and I can attest to its benefits.
Created by David Calvillo, the 33 Day Rosary campaign encourages all Catholics to pray the rosary daily for 33 days starting August 29 and then see what a difference it’s made in their lives. He has a compelling story of how the rosary changed his own life, which is captured wonderfully in this article by Patti Armstrong on The Integrated Catholic Life website. When praying the rosary on a retreat he says, “I was suddenly with Mary at the feet of Jesus, praying with everyone who had ever prayed the rosary. I was in union with the whole Body of Christ.”
As a Catholic newbie, one of the stumbling blocks of praying the rosary for me was figuring out how to do it! It seems simple to cradle Catholics, but let me tell you, when you Google how to pray the rosary and start reading all the prayers involved and then add in the mysteries, it was a “mystery” to me :). It finally took finding a simplified brochure at my parish that helped me understand it. Calvillo has overcome that one with an easy-to-understand How to Pray section of his website that takes you through each prayer on the drop down menu under How to Pray.
Another problem I ran into was struggling with the repetition of it all. That simply took JUST DOING IT and then I got over it. I think after 33 days you’ll have conquered that one.
Also, you may be saying “But I don’t HAVE TIME to pray the rosary every day.” WRONG! YOU DO! If you can’t set aside 20-30 minutes of quiet time, then pray it while driving (this requires some prayer memorization or tune into Catholic Radio, which plays it multiple times a day, or download a rosary podcast), folding laundry, walking the dog, taking a shower, etc. I know you can fit it in. And if you have to do 2 decades in the morning, 1 at lunch and 2 more at night, so be it. Mary doesn’t mind :).
I marvel at the change the rosary has brought to my own life and my newfound dedication to our Blessed Mother. She has brought me infinite graces and blessings already. In reading Calvillo’s story, it chronologically mirrors my own. The rosary led him to St. Louis de Montfort, which led him to Total Consecration. I plan to do the Total Consecration to Mary beginning September 4 and recently finished reading “True Devotion to Mary” by St. Louis de Montfort after starting to pray the rosary daily this spring. I am so excited! Take a look at the Total Consecration page on Calvillo’s website for more information. I am doing it through Gary Zimak who offers a resource for a free book to take you through the process. More info.
Why pray the rosary? Well, there are the 15 promises from Mary, which are pretty powerful, but let’s let the experts weigh in:
“It is through the blessed Virgin Mary that Jesus Christ came into the world, and it is also through her that he must reign in the world.” — St. Louis Marie de Montfort
“One of the principal benefits of the rosary is to provide the Christian with a short and easy way of nourishing his faith and of preserving it from ignorance … When faith is exercised … by meditating on the mysteries, … we recall to mind the wonderful work of our salvation.” — Pope Leo XIII
Now, go sign up for the 33 Day Rosary Challenge to make yourself accountable and put it on your daily to do list. Then come back to the Catholic Newbie blog at the end and share how it changed your life. And remember, Jesus came to us through Mary, so why should we not go to him through Her? Be blessed!
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